|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||c. 167|
|Born||Fondi, Campania, Roman Empire|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||22 April|
Pope Soter (Latin : Soterius) was the bishop of Rome from c. 167 to his death in c. 174. According to the Annuario Pontificio , the dates may have ranged from 162–168 to 170–177. He was born in Fondi, Campania, today Lazio region, Italy. Soter is known for declaring that marriage was valid only as a sacrament blessed by a priest and also for formally inaugurating Easter as an annual festival in Rome. His name, from Greek Σωτήριος from σωτήρ "saviour", would be his baptismal name, as his lifetime predates the tradition of adopting papal names.
Saint Soter's feast day is celebrated on 22 April, as is that of Saint Caius.The Roman Martyrology, the official list of recognized saints, references Soter: "At Rome, Saint Soter, Pope, whom Dionysius of Corinth praises for his outstanding charity towards needy exiled Christians who came to him, and towards those who had been condemned to the mines."
It has often been supposed that all the earliest Popes suffered martyrdom, but the Roman Martyrology does not give Pope Soter the title of martyr.The book detailing the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar states: "There are no grounds for including Saint Soter and Saint Caius among the martyrs."
The Montanist movement, which originated in Asia Minor, made its way to Rome and Gaul in the second half of the 2nd century, during the reign of Eleuterus. Its nature did not diverge so much from the orthodoxy of the time for it to initially be labeled heresy. During the violent persecution at Lyon, in 177, local confessors wrote from their prison concerning the new movement to the Asiatic and Phrygian communities as well as to Pope Eleuterus.The bearer of their letter to the pope was the presbyter Irenaeus, soon to become Bishop of Lyon. It appears from statements of Eusebius concerning these letters that the Christians of Lyon, though opposed to the Montanist movement, advocated patience and pleaded for the preservation of ecclesiastical unity.
When the Roman church took its definite stand against Montanism is not precisely known. Tertullian records that a Roman bishop sent some conciliatory letters to the Montanists, but based on the complaints of Praxeas "concerning the prophets themselves and their churches, and by insistence on the decisions of the bishop's predecessors" forced the pontiff to recall these letters.Another ancient source states that "Holy Soter, Pope of the City, wrote against them a book, as did the master, Apollonius of Ephesus. Against these wrote the priest Tertullian of Carthage, who "in all ways wrote well, wrote first and wrote incomparably, in this alone did reprehensibly, that he defended Montanus". At Rome, the Gnostics and Marcionites continued to preach against the Catholic Church.
Antipope Felix, an archdeacon of Rome, was installed as Pope in AD 355 after the Emperor Constantius II banished the reigning Pope, Liberius, for refusing to subscribe to a sentence of condemnation against Saint Athanasius.
Pope Linus was the second bishop of Rome. His pontificate endured from c. AD 67 to his death. Among those to have been Pope, Peter, Linus, and Clement are specifically named in the New Testament. Linus is named in the valediction of the Second Epistle to Timothy as being with Paul the Apostle in Rome near the end of Paul's life.
Pope Alexander I was the Bishop of Rome from c. 107 to his death c. 115. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio (2012) identifies him as a Roman who reigned from 108 or 109 to 116 or 119. Some believe he suffered martyrdom under the Roman Emperor Trajan or Hadrian, but this is improbable.
Pope Pius I was the bishop of Rome from c. 140 to his death c. 154, according to the Annuario Pontificio. His dates are listed as 142 or 146 to 157 or 161, respectively. He is considered to have opposed both the Valentinians and Gnostics during his papacy. He is considered a saint by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church with a feast day in 11 July, but it is unclear if he died as a martyr.
Pope Stephen I was the bishop of Rome from 12 May 254 to his death on 2 August 257.
Pope Felix I was the bishop of Rome from 5 January 269 to his death on 30 December 274.
Pope Lucius I was the bishop of Rome from 25 June 253 to his death on 5 March 254. He was banished soon after his consecration, but gained permission to return. He was mistakenly classified as a martyr in the persecution by Emperor Valerian, which did not begin until after Lucius' death.
Pope Evaristus was the bishop of Rome from c. 99 to his death c. 107. He was also known as Aristus. He is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy. He is usually accorded the title of martyr; however, there is no confirmation of this. It is likely that he was the bishop of Rome when John the Apostle died, marking the end of the Apostolic Age.
Pope Anicetus was the bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in April 168. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153. Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism. He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome, to discuss the controversy over the date for the celebration of Easter.
Pope Anacletus, also known as Cletus, was the third Bishop of Rome, following Peter and Linus. Anacletus served as pope between c. 79 and his death, c. 92. Cletus was a Roman, who during his tenure as pope, is known to have ordained a number of priests and is traditionally credited with setting up about twenty-five parishes in Rome. Although the precise dates of his pontificate are uncertain, he "...died a martyr, perhaps about 91". Cletus is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the mass; his feast day is April 26.
Pope Zephyrinus was the bishop of Rome from 199 to his death on 20 December 217. He was born in Rome, and succeeded Victor I. Upon his death on 20 December 217, he was succeeded by his principal advisor, Callixtus I. He is known for combatting heresies and defending the divinity of Christ.
Pope Caius, also called Gaius, was the bishop of Rome from 17 December 283 to his death in 296. Little information on Caius is available except that given by the Liber Pontificalis, which relies on a legendary account of the martyrdom of Susanna of Rome for its information. According to legend, Caius baptized the men and women who had been converted by Tiburtius and Castulus. His legend states that Caius took refuge in the catacombs of Rome and died a martyr.
Pope Marcellinus was the bishop of Rome from 30 June 296 to his death in 304. He may have renounced Christianity during Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians before repenting afterwards, which would explain why he is omitted from lists of martyrs. He is today venerated as a saint in Catholic and Serbian Orthodox Church.
Pudentiana is a traditional Christian saint and martyress of the 2nd century who refused to worship the Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Antoninus Pius as deities. She is sometimes locally known as Potentiana and is often coupled with her sister, Praxedes the martyr.
Cyriacus, sometimes Anglicized as Cyriac, according to Christian tradition, is a Christian martyr who was killed in the persecution of Diocletian. He is one of twenty-seven saints, most of them martyrs, who bear this name, of whom only seven are honoured by a specific mention of their names in the Roman Martyrology.
Saint Gorgonius of Nicomedia was a Christian martyr, part of the group Gorgonius, Peter Cubicularius and Dorotheus, who died in 304 AD at Nicomedia during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian.
Saint Gabinus is the title given to two personages.
Saint Susanna of Rome, according to Christian legend, a Christian martyr whose feast day is 11 August which is the same as Saint Tiburtius. The saints were not related, but they are sometimes associated because they are venerated on the same day.
Marcellus of Capua was a third- or fourth-century martyr who was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in the 13th century. He is recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, with 7 October as his feast day.
|Titles of the Great Christian Church|
| Bishop of Rome |